Saturday, August 31, 2013

In Increments Of Years

Like any good gardener I started clearing and planting around the perimeter of a construction zone from the beginning. That was six years ago.

In all that time, the amount of clearing probably far exceeded the amount of planting that has been done and I have done a lot of planting.

I had an ally in my gardening schemes. Nature's abundance and abhorrence of bare ground was put to use. I also had the advantage of 25 years of previous gardening that had introduced a great diversity of plants in a relatively small area.

As I cleared ground and planted closer and closer to the construction zone, nature followed right behind me filling things back in.

Six years later the plantings have reached right up to the cozy cabin.

And six years later the service entrance stairs are finally getting painted. Today the railings and pickets were completed. Next the decks and stair treads need to be power washed then painted with a deck stain.

When the cozy cabin was completed in year four and all the digging for the utility infrastructure was finished, gardening began in earnest. Major clearing had given way to editing out a number of nature's offerings.

My efforts have been rewarded in more ways than just floral abundance. See that brown stripe in the forest beneath the utility lines. That is how the electric company clears things. Who ever was spraying the herbicide this summer noticed something was different near the cute little cabin. They stopped spraying just ten feet from the garden's lower boundary.

Nature's abundance and abhorrence of bare ground is still being put to use. The gardener is just exerting more control over what is allowed to stay.

An actual garden has begun to take shape. Objet de's are migrating out into the gardens.

Today the portal got another coat of a different colored paint. It is the Marigold of the living room walls in the cozy cabin. Why buy more paint when I have plenty colors to chose from? I think it stands out much mo betta now.

Nature has been so generous with filling in behind my clearing and editing that I can contemplate yanking out this magnificent ironweed one day soon because I think it will eventually be in the wrong place. I've tried several times now and ironweed does not transplant well.

In increments of years a garden in a tall flower meadow has formed. Buried beneath it is another garden planted for winter interest. In another six years that other garden will have risen to stand with the tall flower meadow.

In increments of each year the vision of a garden is made real.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

How observant of the sprayer person. I haven't been able to get Iron Weed to get going here. Hmmmm Maybe I have been too nice to it. Maybe I just need to let it be and it will sprout for me. I like the color of the portal.

Gail said...

Very nice Christopher! The tall meadow is beautiful. It took a few years but I am now beginning to see Ironweed seedlings here and there. Tell me what did you plant for winter interest? I agree with Lisa, I, like the portal color.

Sallysmom said...

Do you have any pics taken back when they sprayed further up towards the cabin? It would be neat to compare them.

Christopher C. NC said...

Lisa when I first noticed the dying plants in the easement I freaked, but I quickly saw they had stopped at the boundary. Try gathering some ironweed seed this fall and sowing it where you want. The portal is much more visible now.

Gail the short answer is lots of evergreens, adding more grasses and recently red twig dogwood for winter interest. The longer list is trees: pines, nootka cypress, holly and chamaecyparis; shrubs: clumping bamboo, chamaecyparis, rhododendron, camellia (risky), blue star juniper and a prostrate yew; groundcovers: Streib's Findling cotoneaster and creeping rasberry. Even the variegated Yucca filamentosa are evergreen for winter interest.

Sallysmom when I first arrived the utility company had done a major chop and drop of the trees. I spent days cleaning that up just to be able to walk through the meadow. The only time they sprayed on my part was a spot spraying of the trees many years ago when it didn't much matter. I don't know why they did such a complete coverage spray in the pic. The last 100 feet before the garden's boundary was just spot spraying. In the past they have come up my parent's driveway spraying rhododendrons and azaleas. My parents made them pay for that so I think they are leery of us now. I have also done a lot more maintenance in the easement keeping the trees out and trimming those on the edge. They have less to no reason to come into the gardens now.

Rebecca said...

"Increments" - a word to remember...a plan of action...a perspective with promise

I agree about the marigold portal!

beverly said...

I think I've already mentioned here the sign I saw in the Atlanta Botanical Garden:

"Gardening is the slowest of the performing arts."

Fits you perfectly.

Swimray said...

I think the two last photos of the meadow are the best - I can see everything overall as a natural composition.

Christopher C. NC said...

Rebecca I do tend this garden with more of a theme in mind than a concrete plan. With no budget at all, except time, to speak of, a rigid plan would only cause aggravation.

Ouch Bev, but so true.

Thanks Swimray. The light is really critical to having all the color show up in pictures. At times the camera simply can't record what the eye can take in. The meadow is actually half a natural composition from self seeding. I edit out the other half.